CSU’s Iconic Oval at Every Ram’s Heart

Mid-morning light casts long shadows across November-fallen leaves. Although lacking in foliage during this pre-winter month, Colorado State University’s Oval remains a prominent campus landmark. Designed in 1909, the Oval serves as an entry-way between the outside world and campus life.

Lined with American Elm trees, one long narrow sidewalk heads South to the steps of the iconic three-story Administration Building. Another strip of concrete stretches diagonally across the ellipse of green lawn. A final sidewalk stretches the smaller length of the Oval, perpendicular to the tree-lined path.

Warm sun beats down on bundled up students walking to and from class. Political science major John Mulnix recalls the summer months when he use to kill time on the oval.

“I used to read out here between classes in the summer. The shade was refreshing, and it’s a perfect place for a nap too,” Mulnix said.

A place to study, a place to nap, a place to play, a place to dream. The oval is held close to every Ram’s heart.

“My favorite thing about the oval is that there is always someone out on it either having fun or looking comfortable,” said Claire Clemens, junior international relations major. “It’s special because of the sense of comfort and unity that it brings to CSU.”

The Oval is special to all at CSU be it current students, faculty, or alumni. Cara Neth, director of administrative communications, remembers the oval during her time as a student at CSU.

“When I was a student walking to class, I’d trudge across it in the snow or lie on the ground when it was warm to read between classes, never imagining that I’d one day get to have an office that looks directly down the middle of it,” Neth said. “I have the best view on campus, but I actually have my desk facing away from it or I’d spend all day photobombing the graduation and wedding pictures that are constantly being taken right outside my window. It’s wonderful, actually – you really feel connected to the heart of campus with this view.”

A squirrel darts in front of a bikers path. The Around the Horn bus squeaks to a stop at the far end. A train cries in the distance, warning all to run across Mason St. before it’s too late.

Look up. Black branches contrast a clear blue Colorado sky.

NREL Symposium and Distinguished Ecosystem Ecologist Lecture and Awards

Check out one of my latest poster designs for the Warner College of Natural Resources!


Come out this week for the NREL Symposium and Distinguished Ecosystem Ecologist Lecture and Awards Ceremony.  The 2014 Award recipients are Dr. Eldor Paul (Colorado State University) and Dr. William Schlesinger (Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies).  The keynote address will be given by the 2011 recipient, Dr. F. Stuart (“Terry”) Chapin.

EcoPress will be live tweeting the events.  If you tweet, join us in the action using #NREL_EAC. More information can be found at the Colorado State Source website and the NREL website.NREL-2014_Symposium_and_Distinguished_Ecologist_Lecture_poster

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amazing bike downhill south america

CSU Grads Bike to World Cup and Promote Sustainability

© Warner College of Natural Resources, 2014
Originally posted here

After graduating from Colorado State University, Isaac Manobla and Heinrich Flaig wanted to do something epic while serving a good cause. So, they decided to travel from San Diego, Calif. to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil in the most environmentally friendly way they knew how – by bicycle.

“The speed of bike travel actually allows you to see, feel and smell the place you’re traveling through. This is often missed when traveling in a car or bus,” Flaig said.

Armed with Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism degrees from CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources, the pair embarked on a 225 day journey through 12 countries with a mission of sharing knowledge and building support for a more sustainable way of life. They rode bikes for most of the way, and traveled by boat when needed and plane for one small section from Panama to Ecuador. They immersed themselves in different cultures along the way by staying with local families and helping out in the communities they visited.

Fresh out of Warner College, the pair felt their expedition was perfect timing. “To go from learning about these things at school to using them in the field was massive,” Flaig said.

During their journey, the pair taught people about sustainable living and low-impact lifestyles while also learning about the local culture themselves.
Flaig and Cisse studying a map

Photo Credit: Sustainably South

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sunset from the peak of green mountain

The Music Never Stops…Colorado Photographer Jesse Filippelli

© The Montrose Mirror

By Marissa Isgreen

COLORADO–(July 1, 2014) After five nights of photographing concerts in Colorado last New Year’s Eve, Jesse Filippelli knew it was time to leave his Florida home and make the permanent move to the Centennial State.
As a concert and nature photographer, Filippelli felt that Colorado had the most to offer with its impressive wilderness and bustling music scene. In Florida, he’d get work when there was a small town show or a festival at Suwannee Music Park. However, in Colorado, Filippelli is booked almost every weekend. “I’ve been in Denver for two months, and I’ve already shot at least 15 shows,” Filippelli said.
Living in Glendale, Colorado also provides him with striking landscapes. “I can drive for half an hour and have some of the most pristine sunset shots in the world, I get to see snow-capped mountains every time I drive to work, and you guys have animals out here,” he explained. “Maybe I’m biased because I grew up in Florida”
The 23-year-old concert photographer grew up in South Florida where he stayed for 19 years before moving to Tallahassee. It was there that his life began to change and morph into what it is today.
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Students Dig up Science at CSU Summer Soil Institute

© Warner College of Natural Resources 2014
Originally posted here

Underneath our planet’s surface is a world of minerals, microorganisms, and organic matter collectively known as soil, and humbly driving life on Earth.  Twenty-four students from around the world got to dig deep on soil science at Colorado State University’s 5th annual Summer Soil Institute (SSI) June 15-28, 2014 in Fort Collins, Colo.

Hosted by the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources, the unique course provides an integrated perspective of the interactions among living organisms in soils, the chemistry of organic and mineral matter, and the physical structure of soil. Participants got to work with an interdisciplinary team of world-renowned CSU soil experts like Diana Wall, M. Francesca Cotrufo, and John Moore to gain a strong understanding of soil ecology and current soil issues, such as carbon sequestration.
“Soils are Earth’s fragile skin and enable food production, provide clean water, and are fundamental to human well-being,” said Matthew Wallenstein, SSI instructor and professor at CSU. “The Summer Soil Institute is working to advance education opportunities that can help scientists and educators better understand this incredible, underground ecosystem and how to sustainably manage it for human and environmental well-being.”

SSI is designed for a range of participants including K-12 teachers, environmental professionals, graduate students, post-doctoral students and faculty. The program was initiated through a USDA grant and has trained 120 students worldwide so far.

picture of organism in soil under microscope

Bacterial nematode under microscope

Participants in the two-week course gain hands-on experience with a range of soil analytical techniques including soil chemistry, pedology, microbiology and ecology. Morning lectures and discussions are brought to life daily with field site visits to Colorado grassland and forested ecosystems where participants study and collect diverse soils. The class brings back samples to CSU laboratories where they get to practice a variety of cutting-edge analyses. 
The course also includes lectures and workshops from CSU faculty, and this year included three visiting experts sharing their knowledge and passion for soil science.

“The Summer Soil Institute was a great experience, and most importantly, I walked away understanding the status of the field of soil science,” said Sheila Saia, a 2014 SSI participant and graduate student at Cornell University. “It was tremendously beneficial to learn from and talk to soil experts like those at CSU and other leading universities and gain hands-on experience in soil analysis techniques, which could be used to answer pressing scientific questions.”

Past participants in SSI say the course is a great career investment, as it addresses emerging issues that are propelling future environmental research and industry trends.

“I think SSI is a fantastic opportunity for someone early in their graduate career to gain a broad, multi-disciplinary perspective on soil science. The instructors are all top-notch and it’s great to see the range of questions people are interested in and what tools they use to answer those questions,” said Kabir Peay, Assistant Professor at Stanford University and past SSI participant.

Dates and application deadline for 2015 are still being determined. For more information, visit soilinstitute.nrel.colostate.edu